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Antipsychotic Medication

Antipsychotic medication, also known as neuroleptic medication, helps to correct a chemical imbalance in the brain that leads to mental disorders. These drugs help the brain cells to communicate properly. Antipsychotic medication is often used to treat schizophrenia by putting the patient back in touch with reality.

Antipsychotic drugs were introduced in the 1950s. These drugs, now referred to as "conventional" antipsychotics, include chlorpromazine (Thorazine) and haloperidol (Haldol).

Now, newer "atypical" antipsychotic medications are being used. Atypical antipsychotics reduce hallucinations and delusions but produce fewer side effects such as withdrawal from society, thinking problems and lack of energy. Examples of these drugs are ariprprazole (Abilify) and risperidone (Risperdal).